Aside from the end result, this one was exciting to watch from start to finish.
There were 10 goals scored. The legendary Willie O'Ree dropped the puck for a ceremonial face-off. The Blue Jackets broke their 0-for-18 dry spell on power plays, and Nick Foligno had his first multi-point game of the season (goal and assist).
It was a tough night for the goalies, Sergei Bobrovsky for the Jackets and Jonathan Quick for the Kings, but even they had their moments - with both making some diving saves to keep the game close.
In the end, the combination of Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar was too much for the Blue Jackets to overcome - both finishing with four-point games.
It wasn't the worst game the Jackets have played, but several lapses meant it wasn't the best either.
It was just one exciting hockey game, and here's how it went down:
Goals: LAK - Anze Kopitar (Dustin Brown, Jake Muzzin), 6:51, Trevor Lewis (Michael Cammalleri, Oscar Fantenberg), 7:33; CBJ - Nick Foligno (Artemi Panarin, Zach Werenski), 5:43, Oliver Bjorkstrand (David Savard, Foligno), 8:00, Matt Calvert (Josh Anderson, Jack Johnson), 14:02
Shots: Blue Jackets 10, Kings 9
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 53.3% (16-14), Kings 46.7% (14-16)
2:00 - Two minutes into it, Sergei Bobrovsky was tested early by one of those pateted Drew Doughty slappers from the left point. 'Bob' passed the test. At the other end, Jonathan Quick stopped a chip shot by Anderson. Things were just heating up.
5:43 - A beauty of a pass by Panarin to Foligno. A pinpoint shot to the far side, to beat Quick. A power-play goal, something folks around here hadn't seen since opening night. Finally. Yes, after 18 straight unsuccessful power plays, the Jackets broke through with the man-advantage to make it 1-0. Prior to the game, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said this: "I think we need Panarin to touch the puck more, not just to shoot the puck, but also make plays off of that wall. I think that's one adjustment that I think's going to happen." It did, and it worked.
6:51 - The Kings didn't let the Jackets celebrate long. Kopitar tied it 1-1 on his fifth goal of the season, a one-time knuckle puck that beat Bobrovsky over the right shoulder. Nice pass by Brown, his first of three that led directly to goals.
7:33 - Uh oh. Trevor Lewis makes it 2-1 with what can only be described as a backhand shovel shot thing from the left wing, which sent the puck past Bobrovsky to the far side, curling into the upper right corner.
8:00 - The Jackets pull the same trick the Kings did, scoring less than a minute after L.A. took its first ead. Bjorkstrand got it done, scoring his first goal of the season off a rebound, crashing to the net like he's Boone Jenner or something. Did we mention Boone yet? No? We should. It was his first game of the season, and he looked like he'd played in all seven before it.
14:02 - Hey, it's a trend: first goal of the season. This time, it was Calvert, who deftly whacked the puck into the net while standing amid a pile of humanity in front of the net. The Jackets had the lead again, 3-2, and then was time for some 'Bob.'
16:31 - Save of the game candidate: Bobrovsky. Kings center Adrian Kempe, who had a hat trick Wednesday in Montreal, broke free for a great scoring chance. He went forehand-backhand against 'Bob,' and he did not score. Bobrovsky's diving glove save at the right post was the only reason why, bringing Jackets fans to their feet.
QUOTE: "It's always nice and heart-warming with the fans realizing you're back. It's special to play in front of them, and when you hear that, it's really cool. It kind of gets you revved up that much more." - Jenner, on the welcome he received from Blue Jackets fans in his season debut.
Goals: LAK - Muzzin (Alex Iafallo, Kopitar), 0:40, Doughty (Brown, Derek Forbort), 3;59; CBJ - Sonny Milano (unassisted), 15:15
Shots: Blue Jackets 12, Kings 11
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 57.5% (23-17), Kings 42.5% (17-23)
0:40 - It only took three quick shifts, spaced out by two stoppages, for the Jackets' lead to disappear. Well, actually, it was only one shift for Muzzin - who was only 14 seconds into it when he made the red light behind Bobrovsky flash. His goal following a nice left arm save by Bobrovsky seconds before it tied the game 3-3, which wasn't the only time that happened in the middle period.
3:59 - The Kings strike again. This time, Brown set up his second goal of the game with a shot-pass, which he wired toward Doughty in the slot, from the left wing. Doughty got his stick on it in the slot, and the puck took an alternate trajectory that fooled Bobrovsky. Just like that, it was Kings 4-3.
13:55 - Los Angeles nearly pushed the lead to two goals late in the period, when the Kings created a 2-on-1 rush. Iafallo decided to shoot from the lower right face-off circle, rather than pass, and Bobrovsky swallowed it. Threat averted. It turned out to be a huge save, because …
… 15:15 - Milano scored his team-high fifth goal of the season just 1:20 later to tie it 4-4. Milano, who was moved to the fourth line for this game, scored unassisted. After knocking the puck down with his hand to keep it in the offensive zone, he kicked it ahead. He also bounced off a check by Fantenberg, carried it to the low slot and lifted a backhand over Quick's glove-side shoulder for the goal.
16:28 - Following Jack Johnson's hooking penalty, Brown was looking for his third point when he fired a hard shot at Bobrovsky during the Kings' power play. Bobrovsky made the save, but left a juicy rebound in front of the net. Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray got to it first and wisely cleared it to the boards. Big play to keep it tied.
QUOTE: "I fought off the first guy. He didn't have too much speed. Then it was a 2-on-1, me and Dubois. He was pretty open, honestly, but the other defensemen just slid over and kind of gave me a breakaway." - Milano, on his goal
Goals: LAK - Kopitar (Brown, Iafallo), 17:46, Brown (Muzzin), 18:27 EN; CBJ - None
Shots: Blue Jackets 14, Kings 12
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 50% (18-18), Kings 50% (18-18)
Overall Corsi: Blue Jackets 53.8% (57-49), Kings 46.2% (49-57)
3:24 - Milano gets called for hooking veteran center Brooks Laich, whom the Kings signed just a couple days ago. Laich was signed to take the place of former Blue Jacket center Jeff Carter, who is out indefinitely after sustaining a laceration on his left leg that required surgery. Anyway, good job by the wily veteran drawing the penalty on a stick infraction by a rookie. Also good job by the Jackets' penalty-killers, who've yet to allow an opposing power-play goal in four home games (9-for-9).
7:59 - The Blue Jackets' second line of Jenner, Foligno and Bjorkstrand had one of their better shifts of the game. It started with Foligno winning a face-off against Tanner Pearson in the Kings' zone, which led to the Jackets holding the puck in that end of the rink for 38 seconds - producing one shot by Jenner and two by Foligno. Alas, Quick was up to the task of stopping all three. Jenner also got in a hit on L.A. defenseman Jake Muzzin.
12:02 - Game still tied 4-4, and Lewis tries another one of his backhand shovel thingys from 14 feet away. This one sails wide of the net. The teams play on, dead even.
17:46 - The Kings' top line strikes yet again, this time for the game-winner. All three forwards had a hand in producing it, as Iafallo twice used hustle to hold the puck in the Columbus zone and allowed Brown to get it along the left-wing wall. What a night for Brown, whose vision was largely responsible for three L.A. goals. This time, he spotted a cross-ice tip opportunity and sent a low, hard feed sliding to the front of the net for Kopitar - who slid behind Calvert and redirected the puck into the net while holding the stick with only his right hand. Tortorella lamented Calvert's coverage on the play afterward, but also credit Brown and Kopitar for making that connection.
18:27 - Bobrovsky was on the bench for the extra attacker when Brown polished off his big night with a goal to go with his three assists. He sent it home from 79 feet away to seal the deal for the Kings, who have five more games left on their road trip.
QUOTE: "They snapped one from the boards, it went over two of our guys' sticks and I wasn't quite there. They put it in the net. When you play good players, they're going to do that, but that's why you've got to defend right to the end and it's one I'd definitely like to have back." - Calvert on Kopitar's game-winning goal